Anarhichas minor

Common Name

Spotted Wolffish

Year Described

Olafsen, 1772


Dorsal Fin: 74-80 (spines)
Anal Fin: 44-48
Pectoral Fin: 20-23
Caudal Fin: 20-23
Vertebrae: 74-80

Body elongate and robust, with a large head. Snout blunt. Jaws with large canine teeth forward, becoming more blunt rearward. Teeth on vomer extend to or beyond the palatine teeth. Dorsal fin runs from rear of head to the caudal fin. Anal fin long. Caudal fin small and rounded. Pelvic fin absent. Pectoral fin large and fan-like.


Base color yellowish-brown mixed with gray marbling above, grading into plain gray on the belly. Upper half of body and head with numerous variably-sized black spots. Dorsal fin patterned like the body. Anal fin dark gray. Pectoral fin plain yellowish-brown. Caudal fin dark with a pale margin.


Maximum size to 180cm TL.


Offshore continental waters from 25-590m. Bottom dwelling.


Greenland to Massachusetts.


Barsukov, V.V. 1986. Anarhichadidae. p. 1113-1116. In: P.J.P. Whitehead, M.-L. Bauchot, J.-C. Hureau, J. Nielsen and E. Tortonese (eds.). Fishes of the North-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. volume 3. UNESCO, Paris.

Richards, W.J. (Ed.). 2005. Early Stages of Atlantic Fishes: An Identification Guide for the Western Central North Atlantic. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida.

Templeman, W. 1986. Contributions to the Biology of the Spotted Wolffish (Anarhichas minor) in the Northwest Atlantic. Journal of Northwest Atlantic Fishery Science. Vol. 7: 47-55.